When Is My Child Ready For An Electronic Device?

Being a mom is similar to being a union foreman. You must have the ability to visualize all the characteristics that sum up each of your children and assign them duties and abilities according to their personalities. If your child is athletic, then you lean towards sports to engage them. In the current world where parents are equally as addicted to their electronic devices as their teens are, how can you be sure your kid is ready to enter the technological utopia?

My first experience with providing electronic devices to my own children was relatively simple. My oldest son was somewhere around the age of eight years old when he could operate a cell phone and use the internet without any assistance. Of course this was nearly five years ago, and currently my six year old is on my laptop more than I am, meaning the ability of kids today to maneuver these items is growing rapidly. I believe the best way to go about it is to gauge the items, then consider if your child will be able to operate it. For instance, a cell phone (not a blackberry per say) a child can successfully operate generally by the ages of seven to ten years old. However, they can also use a credit card at the checkout lanes, but I wouldn't advise a child having any direct lines of credit. If your child is responsible then you can provide them with devices knowing they won't go overboard.

Generally, I wouldn't give a cell phone to a child until they are at least ten years old. Laptops are totally different. The child usually would be operating it while you are home and not exactly lugging it around in their backpacks. Thankfully, the computer industry recognizes the desire parents and kids have to use their own laptops. They have made several attempts at designing ones just with kids in mind. For smaller kids, the Vtech product line is a great start. Kids can use them with no adult help and they have programs to teach them Math & Reading skills. The tablets are another way to go. If your child loves to read the Amazon Kindle series is an excellent way to go. For the older kids, getting a traditional laptop is more affordable now than it has ever been before. Dell computers for example, are relatively affordable and extremely easy to use. The smaller companies such as Acer and Emachines are really cheap some even starting as low as under two hundred dollars to buy a 15” model. This is something you will need to think about, though; if your child is a gamer, you may need one with a higher internal memory. If they are just using it to go online and surf the web, then usually one of the basic models can work out nicely without breaking he bank.


  1. Lol, I swear the age is getting to be younger and younger.

    On both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I watched my nephew (who is 3)go up to my brother, and get his iPhone from him, proceed to sit down on the couch, load up the Angry Birds app and play the game by himself!!!
    I was totally blown away!! It is crazy what these kids are doing these days.

  2. I had no illusions about my child's ability to use a cell phone at age 9, and that was precisely why I bought him a prepaid Tracfone, so I wouldn't be surprised when it was time to pay the monthly bill.